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Going the distance

From kids to senior citizens Everyone’s running Photo: M. Periasamy  

“Ideally, those wanting to participate in the Coimbatore Marathon (on October 2) should have started training two months before the event,” says Santosh Sahanand, Consultant in Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine. But he sounds a note of optimism as he adds, “It is still not too late. A month is good enough provided you follow a schedule.”

Little groups have sprung up across the city. It is common to pass by folks who are jogging, earphones in their ears or mobile phones blaring music in their pockets. Some wear fitbits, others just run, sometimes barefoot. Kids gambol past; the more matronly, dupattas pinned firmly in place, run slowly and some walk at a brisk pace before launching into a run. “Twelve thousand people have registered for the Marathon,” says race director Ramesh Ponnuswami. “We had to close registrations before the deadline, as we cannot handle more,” he adds.

If you are one of those who has registered and is still contemplating training, pull up your socks. “Scheduling your training is very important,” says Dr. Santosh. So get going. He also sounds a word of caution for those who have chronic back or knee pain. “Please consult your doctor before launching into any kind of training,” he advises. “Your doctor may advise you to run with supportive braces or a belt. And make sure you don’t start running right away. Start with a walk, then at a brisker pace and then a slow jog. This advice also applies to those who have run marathons before but have not run for a while.”

Take your warm up seriously, cautions Dr. Santosh. “Warm up and cool down is the key,” he declares. “Sometimes people just start running and this leads to muscle pulls, cramps and injuries. No matter how experienced or otherwise a runner you are, you must do your stretches,” he warns. The calf muscles, the upper thighs, upper arms, neck, side stretches and front stretches are mandatory. “Sometimes runners complain of shoulder and back pain. That is usually due to wrong posture,” he explains.

Dr. Santosh also stresses the importance of wearing the right shoes. “There are any number of running shoes available. It is good to go with one that has a flexible front and thick soles. Some people run barefoot, but I wouldn’t advise those who are not used to that to start now. Running with shoes and barefoot running employ completely different techniques.”

According to Ponnuswami, more than 100 senior citizens have registered for the marathon. Geriatrician Dr. Rahul Padmanabhan, who is also running the 10 K, has this to say to senior runners. “On no account must you neglect taking your medications. Exercise your common sense and do only as much as you can. If you feel tired or pain, just stop and rest.”

Dr. Rahul insists that the senior runners should ensure they are properly hydrated and eat something before the run. “Those who have specific health issues must consult their doctors before they set out,” he says. Dr. Rahul also reiterates the importance of stretches before the seniors set out. “Those who are not used to walking should start doing so every day,” he says.

A month’s schedule

Dr. Santhosh and his team at Ortho One (Sports medicine partner for the Marathon) have suggestions for how you can schedule your running for the remaining month.

The training should be a combination of walking/jogging and running. It will help to keep a note of how much you have walked/run and the time taken.

Try and run at the same time everyday. Ideally early in the morning as that is when you will be running on the day of the event.

First Week: 5K, 10K and 21K runners must do at least 50 per cent of their distance.

Second Week: Runners should up the distance to 60 per cent of the total distance

Third week: At least 70-80 per cent of total distance

Fourth week: Complete at least 90 per cent of total distance

Ease off on the last three days, says Dr. Santhosh. “Run to about 60 per cent of your distance and eat plenty of carbs before the big day.”

If you have any other health query relating to running the marathon, write to physio@ortho-one.in or WhatsApp on 9750903515


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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 1:17:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Going-the-distance/article15616824.ece

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